Editor’s note: In the article, Alena explains why high-quality software for lab inventory management is a key tool for optimizing all inventory management processes in your laboratory. With experience in developing software for healthcare organizations and scientific laboratories since 2005, ScienceSoft can design and implement an inventory management solution fit for your lab’s specific purposes.
ScienceSoft considers lab inventory management a crucial step on the way to making overall lab management effective. As part of that initiative, digitizing inventory management operations can help laboratories like yours to achieve tempting benefits. Based on our projects, such as building and supporting lab management software for a world-famous provider of laboratory equipment, software and consumables, I’ve summarized 4 most prominent benefits that lab inventory management apps can bring.
Automating data entry
If your lab inventory software is integrated with barcode readers or QR-code scanners (used as an app on a mobile device), it eliminates time-consuming and error-prone data entry tasks performed by your employees while cataloging laboratory inventory. After scanning an item’s tag, the integrated solution adds all information on this piece of inventory into your lab inventory management system without the need to fill out any spreadsheet fields manually. Some of our customers claim, automatic data entry saves up to 40% of the working time for lab employees and helps reduce lab management costs.
Tracking inventory in real time
As soon as data is automatically entered, lab inventory management solutions place it in the secure HIPAA-compliant cloud storage and enable your authorized users to access it in real time. Thus, they can see how many lab supplies and samples there are right now in a particular lab or warehouse. This functionality decreases the possibility of sample losses, inventory shortages or excessive inventory. In addition, real-time inventory tracking lets you oversee lab workflows from start to finish in real time.
Planning and forecasting inventory demand
Digitized lab inventory systems allow you to set alerts when supplies are running low to timely restock them and avoid stalling your lab’s processes. With an automated notification system like that, you can plan your inventory demand and feel secure about the availability of your lab supplies.
As a more sophisticated way to forecast inventory demand, I can suggest adding strong data analytics capabilities to your lab inventory management application to uncover your supply consumption patterns and use them for future demand prediction. Alex Bekker, Head of Data Analytics Department at ScienceSoft, created a solid guide to data science-based inventory optimization, where you can find useful information about different approaches to inventory management.
Scheduling equipment maintenance
“The feature helped us to cut downtime costs substantially” – says one of the labs ScienceSoft worked with.
Within your inventory management app, you can create a list of equipment that requires maintenance according to the equipment’s current state and the manufacturer’s recommendations. When the time comes to perform maintenance of a particular piece, the app sends a notification to you and assigns responsible maintenance specialists to do that job. This will help you to prevent costly repairs and prolong the effective life of your equipment.
Time to invest in your lab’s efficiency!
I believe lab inventory management software is a vital element of a modern laboratory. Companies that already use it benefit from automated data entry, tracking inventory in real time, planning and forecasting inventory demand, and scheduling equipment maintenance and audit procedures.
I know that digitally transforming your lab inventory management is a big step that requires a lot of efforts, investments and time. But it’s completely worth it. We at ScienceSoft are always happy to support laboratories on their way to the digital transformation of their inventory management. If you feel your inventory management system needs a revamp, feel free to drop a line to my team.
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